“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Berthold Auerbach
Daily Nugget of Gold 1173
Ever notice that our moods can be easily changed by the music we listen to? Or that maybe when we are in certain frames of mind, we don’t much feel like listening to certain kinds of music, be it maybe fast-paced or slow? What’s up with that? Let’s explore one possible explanation as to what’s going on here.
Our brains operate at different frequencies, wavelengths that scientists can measure with sensitive equipment. With names like Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Theta- the frequency ranges our brains commonly operate in sound like college fraternities, don’t they? The various states range from deep, lethargic sleep to eyes-wide-open highly active, super-achievement cycles. Cycles is a good word to use, too, for frequencies are literally measured by cycles per second.
Obviously, music comes in a variety of tempos. Some are blindingly fast while others are slow and relaxed. Did you notice that we sometimes pick the music to match the mood we wish to be in or to reflect the mood we’re in? You probably realize by now if you’ve read our writings at all that we are a very large proponent of controlling our mood, and in particular, trying to keep ourselves in a happy, positive mood most of the time. There’s nothing wrong with choosing stimuli which helps us accomplish it. Hey, it might be a “crutch” but you know, crutches are handy tools when we need them!
So why all this talk about brain waves? Well, it seems that if our mood can be changed or enhanced by the music we listen to, it might actually be something more than just our appreciation of it. Beats or other sounds per second would be picked up as vibrations by our eardrums and transmitted to our brains via our auditory nerves. The various pulses and frequencies are interpreted by the brain which creates the impression of the sounds we hear and experience. Through a process of induction and harmonics, these sounds (through electric nerve impulses) have the capability of altering our brain’s operating frequencies. Literally, we are wired for sound.
Now, most of us are blissfully unaware of the science behind all of that, we just know that sometimes the right kind of music helps us cheer up- and conversely, the wrong kind can bring us down. Let’s just keep in mind that when we work to improve the state of mind we stay in to be happier and more positive, music that aligns us with that goal is a wonderful tool, isn’t it?
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
What kind of music puts me in a great mood?
Copyright 2014 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.